Coronavirus and sport – a list of the major cancellations

From major club and international football to the golf and tennis tours, Covid-19 has decimated the sporting calendar. Here is an updating list of what has been affected so far


Northern Irishman Michael Conlan’s St Patrick’s Day fight in New York against Belmar Preciado at Madison Square Garden was called off, while Shakur Stevenson v Miguel Marriaga has also been postponed. Derek Chisora wore an anti-coronavirus suit and Oleksandr Usyk sprayed disinfectant at their press conference to announce their heavyweight fight in May.

The PDC has moved its Premier League of darts double-header in Rotterdam from the end of March to the 9-10 September. The semi-finals and finals of the tournament will take now place in the Dutch city.

England’s Test squad are returning home after the series against Sri Lanka was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. “The physical and mental wellbeing of our players and support teams is paramount,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in a statement. The two-Test series was due to begin in Galle on Thursday, 19 March. Meanwhile, the start of the Indian Premier League has been delayed from 29 March to 15 April, with Australia and New Zealand now set to play three one-day internationals behind closed doors.

 England’s captain Joe Root and Ben Stokes arrive at the team hotel in Colombo after their tour was called off. Photograph: Chamila Karunarathne/EPA

The Paris-Nice race that was due to finish on Sunday looked set to be cancelled after the French Cycling Federation (FFC) announced the cancellation of all cycling events on French soil due to the Covid-19 epidemic. The Giro d’Italia, which was due to begin in Hungary in May, has also been postponed, while the Six Day Manchester that was due to be held this weekend will not take place.


All elite football in Britain has been suspended until at least 3 April, with every game in England’s Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super Leagueand Women’s Championship now postponed. The National League has, however, decided to allow matches in its three divisions to proceed as planned this weekend citing guidance from the Football Association which “made it clear the decision to continue or to suspend a competition is a matter for each league to make” but York City and Altrincham have taken the joint decision to postpone their match. Scotland has also suspended domestic professional and grassroots football until further notice.

A view of locked gates at Villa Park, home of Aston Villa. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

European tournaments

Uefa has postponed all continental tournaments, including all of next week’s Champions League and Europa League fixtures. European football’s governing body will meet stakeholders including representatives of its 55 member associations on Tuesday, with the prospect of Euro 2020 being delayed for a year among the options being considered.

European domestic leagues

France and Germany have now followed Italy, Portugal, Spain and the majority of domestic European leagues in postponing fixtures until at least the start of April.

Rest of world

Most countries who have reported cases of the coronaries have taken steps to postpone their domestic programmes, while Fifa has also put this month’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Asia on hold and advised that advised that all remaining international matches due to be played in March and April should be postponed indefinitely. But with China having reported a marked decrease in new Covid-19 patients over the last few days, Chinese Super League side Wuhan Zall are set to return home having been stranded in Spain since the end of January.

For the first time since 1945, the Masters will not take place in the second week of April after Augusta National postponed golf’s first major of the year on Friday. “We hope this puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date,” said chairman Fred Ridley. The decision followed the abandonment of the Players Championship at Sawgrass during the first round on Thursday, while the PGA Tour has also cancelled the Valero Texas Open. The ANA Inspiration– the first ladies major of the year – was also postponed on Friday.

After the Cheltenham Festival came to an end on Friday, there are currently no plans to restrict any meetings next week apart from at Kelso on Monday, which will be held behind closed doors under advice from the Scottish government. “We are aware of the decisions taken by a number of sports today to suspend fixtures in advance of any government decision coming into effect,” said the BHA. “Racing’s leaders are monitoring the situation daily and are currently considering a range of options in this rapidly developing situation. Contingency plans are ready as required.

After the Australian Grand Prix was dramatically postponed on Thursday night, the FIA quickly confirmed that the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prixwill now not take place on their scheduled dates. “As a result, Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the Championship in Europe at the end of May but given the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in Europe in recent days, this will be regularly reviewed,” said Formula 1’s governing body in a statement. The Dutch Grand Prix on 3 May will therefore be the first race of the 2020 season if they get the all clear. Meanwhile, Formula E has suspended its season until May which means races in Paris, Seoul and Jakarta will be affected.

Upset fans James Haworth (right) and Kaine Pizzato outside Albert Park. Photograph: James Ross/AAP

The ATP Tour suspended all events for six weeks on Thursday and the WTAhas also confirmed that there will be no tournaments for five weeks. “This is not a decision that was taken lightly,” said the ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

Leeds Rhinos have postponed their Super League game against Catalans Dragons on Saturday that had been due to take place in France behind closed doors after one of their players showed symptoms of the virus. But the rest of this weekend’s fixtures are still set to take place, as well as several fifth-round Challenge Cup ties. The government’s upcoming ban on mass public gatherings means next weekend’s fixtures will almost certainly be postponed.

The Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff was called off 24 hours before kick off, following the earlier postponement of the final round’s other two matches: Italy v England and Ireland v France. “Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option,” said the WRU in a statement. All of Sunday’s Women’s Six Nations fixtures are also cancelled, while the Pro14 competition and all French rugby union have been halted. Sunday’s Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale and Harlequins was called off on Friday.

The event at London’s O2 next weekend is still set to go ahead, although this weekend’s event in Brasilia will take place behind closed doors.

The Boston Marathon has been moved to September, following the suspension of several other sports in the US, including Major League Soccer, the National Hockey LeagueMajor League Baseball and National Basketball Association.

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